9. Wilderness Manual–Sin and Zeal (25)

Principle: After a time in the wilderness, being scraped down to the heart that has chosen the goodness of God, the journey back to what some call ordinary life is filled with danger. God has brought his vessel through the fire and now the test is to see how it responds to a foreign, destructive, and once beloved presence called Sin. The response of the heart prepared for God, is a response of zeal against it.

Many have a zeal against sin, but it is from a place of self-righteousness. “I am better than this they say.” On the other hand, The one who has been through the wilderness, who has walked with God, and tasted of His holiness will have a completely different perspective of sin. It is a righteousness based on God not on self. Sin is not only evil, it is worthless. It is not only death, it is killing. It is not only wrong, it’s unthinkable! The heart that burns against God for sin cannot understand this perspective. The heart that burns for God against sin cannot see otherwise. It is all consuming zeal that earned Phineas a perpetual priesthood. It is this all consuming zeal that turned God’s wrath away from His people.

God is One. He is not less than One. We in heart are not One, we are divided and varigated, and compartmented. Sin has fractured us like a mirror designed to mirror God’s glory, instead we splinter it and His image is marred. It is when we are whole that God recognizes Himself in us, and His integrity proves himself to be true in response to the truth in How He made us. This is why David said, “To the pure, you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself twisted.” Psalm 18:26

Application: Emotions stir in the melting pot of the heart that allows a person to change for the better or the worse. Let your emotions be excited against sin, even as they are allowed to fully enjoy the goodness of God, and you will find your heart more whole. Let nothing temper or cool your zeal for God against evil. And let your zeal be even as Jesus’ zeal: a zeal to seek and to save the lost. Coolness will mend no cracks in your heart. Also, take action against sin, so that the emotions of your heart have oxygen of freedom, and fuel of action to keep glowing and blowing to purge out evil, and to bring light to the dark and cold world enslaved to sin.

True Repentance vs. Forgiving Yourself

After a weekend at Seminary learning about the gospel in the book of Romans, I was sitting in Sunday School at my church. I noticed my fellow singer in praise team sitting nearby, and Jesus laid it on my heart to pray for her. During Sunday School class about letting go of the past, I understood the following and wrote it down in my journal. I shared it in Sunday School class, and she asked me for a copy of it, because she felt like it was for her. Then she gave that copy to a friend and asked me for another copy so I decided to post it here:

Why is it so hard to forgive myself? Because I’m not letting go of my own being the Judge. I’m beating myself up because I am the one deciding, “This is bad, therefore I will assign my own punishment.” This is foreign to the true repentance of Righteousness. The true repentance of righteousness is releasing your own judgment of right and wrong by which you determine how right or how wrong you are. And once you have released your own standard of right and wrong, that silence is next filled with the terrifying, uncontrollable reality of God’s Righteousness– the true standard of right and wrong. And in looking at the Righteousness of God, we see our sin, and we confess it, and He forgives us, and we are deeply and truly forgiven, because we have a voice of “You are forgiven” from the Father, and not yourself.

So the question is not, forgiving yourself. You don’t have the right to forgive yourself!